School crossing guards have one of the most important jobs in the education system – helping students all across California get safely to and around school. Many children walk or bicycle to and from school, and crossing guards are there to help students practice good safety skills and obey the law.

Like any job that requires you to work around the road, being a crossing guard can be hazardous. Here are some safety tips for California crossing guards:

Use an Appropriate Search Pattern: As a crossing guard, you are a role model for the students that you help protect. Model an appropriate search pattern for you and students, including:

  •         Stop at the curb
  •         Look left, right and left again
  •         Look over your shoulder at intersections to check for turning vehicles
  •         Cross the street at a consistent pace

Signaling Traffic: If you must signal traffic, use appropriate paddles or lighted wands. Make sure you signal clearly and if necessary, wear bright or reflective gloves that identify your movements.

Crosswalk Safety: If you are stationed at a crosswalk, make sure that any signals allow enough time for students to cross safely before the light changes. If you are standing in the crosswalk while students cross, make sure that you have appropriate paddles or gloves and a whistle. Be aware of traffic in all directions. If there are no signals at the crosswalk, you may need to stop traffic manually. Wear a reflective vest and gloves, and use paddles to increase your visibility.

Emergency Safety: If there is an emergency where you are stationed, take control of the scene as best you can to keep yourself and students safe. Group children together away from the street. Call 911 or ask someone nearby to do so. If the emergency is a victim in the street, use a vehicle to block them. Do not allow anyone to cross the street until first responders arrive.

Remember that even the most careful and well-trained crossing guard is vulnerable to distracted or negligent drivers. If you are injured while working as a crossing guard, inform your supervisor immediately and get medical attention.